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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    Okay, I just bought a new Marshall Class 5. It's a 5 watt combo with a 10" speaker. It has a volume knob which obviously controls the gain. It has bass/mid/treble knobs as well. It's one of the new models with the 1/4 power switch which I have to use here since I'm in an apartment.

    Since it has no reverb, I got a T-Rex Tonebug reverb as well. The reverb is way over the top so I have it dialed way low on the depth and decay just for a subtle, natural reverb sound. I'm playing my first year quilt Wolfgang through it which is bone stock.

    Since it's a semi-closed back, it's naturally a very bassy sounding amp. Turning the bass knob past 3 or 4 really muddies up the sound. Also, the treble is all the way up and the mid is about 3/4 up. I have the amp's volume turned to 10 to get the most gain and breakup as possible which is slightly louder than I would like to here in the apartment. The gain is just missing a bit of cut in the higher end and the low end just doesn't give me that everlasting sustain.

    It's got a single EL84 for power and two 12AX7/ECC83 in the preamp section. I've been talking to the guys at Eurotubes and they have suggested going with their newer JJ Tubes EL844 which is 9 watt versus the EL84 which is 12 watt to quiet it a bit and also cause it to break up a little earlier. They also suggest going with their hotter JJ Tubes ECC83S preamp tubes which will also give it a bit more gain.

    I want to try new tubes first because everything I'm reading on the amp tells me that they are being shipped with all sorts of different tubes in them as far as brands so I'm sure they're inconsistent. Help me out people!!!
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    Bob at Eurotubes knows his stuff -- I've talked to him many times, and he's always helpful. I've also ordered quite a few products from him in the past. (We differ a little bit in our opinions on how to 'optimize' a 5150, but other than that I agree with pretty much everything he suggests and lists on his website)

    I would definitely go with JJ's in a Marshall to start out. They are fairly inexpensive, extremely reliable, and seem to 'fit' tonewise with Marshalls very well. I would start with standard 12AX7's in the preamp, and maybe try that lower wattage EL84 in the power section. If you still want more gain, try replacing either one or both of the preamp tubes with the 'higher gain' JJ ECC83. If that still isn't giving you the bite you want, try these in the preamp: http://thetubestore.com/chinese12ax7.html

    I can personally vouch for all of the above tube types mentioned -- I haven't had any problems or disappointments with any of them -- although I haven't tried them in the same amp that you have.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips... What do you think about going right off the bat with the hotter ECC83S?

    Why would you go for the standard to begin with? I'm new to this whole idea of changing tubes and trying to learn via the crash course rather quickly. I just wanna know your method of thinking behind your advice.

    I'd rather have too much gain and have to back it off by turning down the volume (which I don't mind being in the apt) than not having enough gain.

    I have a 5150 combo so I already know about having to back off the gain...
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    i'd certainly go for a lower wattage tube in the power section(the EL84) thats the part of the amp this really sings when you get it working, i'm not a fan of 'hot' 12AX7 type tubes, to me they always seem to make an amp 'fizzy' and sterile, perhaps it's just my ears, I've had great success with Mullard NOS 12AX7's in my 5150 and would highly recomend you try them in the future no matter what amp you're considering, they really smooth out some of the fizz and give a nice preamp drive if you're playing at lowers volumes and not pushing the poweramp into breakup. i would also consider something like an Ibanez Tube Screamer or Marshall Guv'nor pedal or maybe a good boost pedal and just give the amp a damn good push from the front end.
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    Yeah, you mentioned that over at fb, Tom... I've never had a distortion pedal no matter what amp I've owned on the front end and I'm worried if I add it, it will sound fake and remove some of the tube sound and make it sound artificial? Does that make sense? Or am I just ignorant to what a good pedal can do?
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    I've been on a vintage tube kick lately. If you can get a vintage Sylvania off eBay do it. I retubed my 5150II with Sylvania 6L6 tubes and it is beyond awesome.

  7. #7
    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast98dodge View Post
    Yeah, you mentioned that over at fb, Tom... I've never had a distortion pedal no matter what amp I've owned on the front end and I'm worried if I add it, it will sound fake and remove some of the tube sound and make it sound artificial? Does that make sense? Or am I just ignorant to what a good pedal can do?
    thats why i suggested a Tube Screamer, Guv'nor or a boost pedal, they're not really 'distortion' pedals they push they really overdrive the amp instead by pushing the front end harder. for a great example of what they can do, check out some of Gary Moores live stuff on youtube. his rig was pretty much just: Les Paul-->Tube Screamer--->cranked Marshall (he did use a few ambient fx but rarely)

    if he can make a Strat sound like this without a ton of gear then you shouldn't have much trouble getting in the ballpark..


    Les Paul...TS09 and Marshall..
    Last edited by tommywho5150; 07.07.11 at 07:46 AM.
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

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    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    Well if retubing doesn't do the trick, I may have to go the pedal route which I may do anyways. I don't think I'll spend the $350 on a "vintage reissue" tube screamer but the $99 current model would probably be fine... After watching the youtube clips, I think he still has a pretty good sound...
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    Bob at Eurotubes knows his stuff -- I've talked to him many times, and he's always helpful. I've also ordered quite a few products from him in the past. (We differ a little bit in our opinions on how to 'optimize' a 5150, but other than that I agree with pretty much everything he suggests and lists on his website)

    I would definitely go with JJ's in a Marshall to start out. They are fairly inexpensive, extremely reliable, and seem to 'fit' tonewise with Marshalls very well. I would start with standard 12AX7's in the preamp, and maybe try that lower wattage EL84 in the power section. If you still want more gain, try replacing either one or both of the preamp tubes with the 'higher gain' JJ ECC83. If that still isn't giving you the bite you want, try these in the preamp: http://thetubestore.com/chinese12ax7.html

    I can personally vouch for all of the above tube types mentioned -- I haven't had any problems or disappointments with any of them -- although I haven't tried them in the same amp that you have.
    I'll second the new JJ tubes. If you had asked me this last year, i would have said Ruby's. I had gotten away from JJ's for a while because it seemed they were real dark sounding compared to before; almost scooped, but I decided to give 'em a go in my 5150, a couple real old Marshalls as well as my AC-30. (Yeah I broke the bank on tubes! over $400.00 worth!)
    I was real impressed what the did for the Super Leads , and the 5150 sounds as good as it did the day I bought it after years of fumbling with inconsistent tubes.
    Now probably the most similar amp I have to yours in wattage is the Vox. It sounded great with the JJ's as well. Very bluesy with nice gain. Sounds wicked with a neck pickup. I'd give them a try man.
    Definately the JJ's are the best they've been in years. Don't know what's changed, but whatever it was, they are on the right track.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    Tom has me questioning myself... I wonder if going the pedal route is the best route for right now. It would be nice to have channel switching but the tubes I'm sure are pretty cheap ass in the thing. The biggest thing is I want great VH/Nugent/Maiden/Priest tone but at bedroom levels...

    I am guessing I should probably do both...
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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    Okay, one last thing... If I get something like a tube screamer or something along those lines, can I get the crunch without boosting the volume???
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast98dodge View Post
    Tom has me questioning myself... I wonder if going the pedal route is the best route for right now. It would be nice to have channel switching but the tubes I'm sure are pretty cheap ass in the thing. The biggest thing is I want great VH/Nugent/Maiden/Priest tone but at bedroom levels...

    I am guessing I should probably do both...
    Pretty sure they will just be the cheapy no-name Chinese tubes it it. I've found those things in a lot of offshore gear as of late.
    The TubeScreamers are great too by the way.

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    I only need the volume up around 2 or 3 so would the tube screamer add volume or just crunch? I only need the crunch... Austin Vintage Guitars has a TS808 reissue (not the handwired) for $125...
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast98dodge View Post
    I only need the volume up around 2 or 3 so would the tube screamer add volume or just crunch? I only need the crunch... Austin Vintage Guitars has a TS808 reissue (not the handwired) for $125...
    Well the controls are actually the same a lot of distortion pedals, There's "drive" and "level", so you simply up the drive to get crunch or more specifically overdrive, and lower the level to control the volume. Dead simple. The tone on these is very useful and is probably one of the single most simplest do dial in the ideal tone, where as compared to other pedals which sound either to scooped or brittle. The TS9 sounds much more like natural gain compared to older design transistor based units.
    Another thing you can try is if you have an EQ, try running it with the mids between 250 and 1K boosted between 6 and 12 DB. Sometimes this is all an amp needs to get more natural overdrive. I tried this on a Marshall and was blown away how much more crunch was present with a little boosting. Sometimes the amps tone stacks just don't shape the tone the way you'd like so they need a little help.
    You've most likely experimented with this, but sometimes the simplest thing can do the most.

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    Quote Originally Posted by we die young View Post
    Well the controls are actually the same a lot of distortion pedals, There's "drive" and "level", so you simply up the drive to get crunch or more specifically overdrive, and lower the level to control the volume. Dead simple. The tone on these is very useful and is probably one of the single most simplest do dial in the ideal tone, where as compared to other pedals which sound either to scooped or brittle. The TS9 sounds much more like natural gain compared to older design transistor based units.
    Another thing you can try is if you have an EQ, try running it with the mids between 250 and 1K boosted between 6 and 12 DB. Sometimes this is all an amp needs to get more natural overdrive. I tried this on a Marshall and was blown away how much more crunch was present with a little boosting. Sometimes the amps tone stacks just don't shape the tone the way you'd like so they need a little help.
    You've most likely experimented with this, but sometimes the simplest thing can do the most.
    Edit: I meant to say "other" older designed transistor based. The TS 9 has been around forever. Sorry...on break at work, but keep on getting interrupted. Also, the boost the TS-9 provides is in that key mid area too, so either way you choose to go, either TS-9 or EQ, it will get the job done. The TS-9's tone control though makes it sound a little less sharp in and in your face that an EQ pushing the mids up.
    Last edited by we die young; 07.07.11 at 11:47 AM.

 

 

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